Have you seen wine labels specify a serving temperature?

Wine tastes very different at different temperatures! Most wine is stored and served at the same temperature - either room temperature or refrigerator temperature - simply because these are the easy-access temperatures in modern households. They are convenient and serviceable for everyday wines, but not ideal for getting the most enjoyment from the finest wines. Put your red wines in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before pouring, to help them taste brighter. Take whites and rosés out of the fridge to warm for 10-15 minutes to help their flavors bloom. Only sparkling wines and sweet dessert wines taste their best straight from the refrigerator!

Temperature has a dramatic effect on our sensory experience of wine. Even a few degrees can make the difference between a wine that tastes amazing and a wine that tastes just OK. A cooler glass of wine will always seem less intensely flavorful but also more refreshing. While wine in the warmer glass at room temperature will seem stronger in flavor, and offer a wider range of scents, but it will also seem less refined and more, well, “boozy”. If the wine is red, its tannins will seem more harshly bitter and astringent in the colder glass and more pleasantly plush in the warmer one.

Room and refrigerator temperatures are fine for wines that will be drunk within a few months of purchase. For longer-term storage, the ideal temperature for preserving wine and allowing it to age gracefully is 55°F.

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